Industries everywhere are feeling the impact of this global pandemic. We’ve already seen some government bailouts to citizens and businesses, but what about those of us in design and marketing? Where is our place in this new and uncertain world?

According to a new report from IAB, 74 per cent of media buyers, planners, and brands believe our current crisis will have a greater impact than the global financial crisis of 2008. The report noted that digital ad spend is down 33 per cent while traditional media is down 39 per cent. Furthermore, ad content has changed as 63 per cent of advertisers have increased mission-based marketing by 42 per cent and cause-related marketing by 41 percent.

It’s clear that business that can still operate are sharing a different message – one that speaks more to the situation and times, rather than selling a specific brand or service. Companies need to be seen as responsive and informative, which is still part of communications and a necessary service when there’s great confusion and misinformation.

Clarity of Design

That’s where design comes in. Our role is to help make messaging clear and this can be seen in some instances where businesses have used beautiful designs such as infographics and live updates to help keep people informed.

The purpose of infographics – and our entire company ethos – is to make complex information more digestible and engaging. The ability to convey critical information concisely and creatively is useful in an era where attention spans are short and news changes rapidly.

At this time of uncertainty, it’s difficult to manage the information we receive, not only in terms of credibility, but also scale. Global events mean global updates, which is easier to facilitate with online information, but still difficult for human minds to process at a faster pace than computers and the current rate of change.

Infographics makes complex data more visually appealing and comprehensible. They’re commonly used in presentations because they add context to what’s being said and helps convey a lot of information in a simple way that’s easy for audiences to process. When things change quickly and information is generated constantly, the need for clear infographics is vital. A couple of examples we’ve seen during this crisis include:

A datapack of infographics available on Information is Beautiful offers clear and concise information about the current impact of Coronavirus on a global scale, some contrast with other viruses, and other important data. The information is presented as simply and beautifully as possible, with even one graph offer live updates and interactive elements.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) are the authority at times of global medical crises. A recent infographic WHO posted is more directed at contamination and prevention of Coronavirus, displaying some important information with diagrams to demonstrate prevention measures.

Furthermore, the design is available in regionally specific languages and in a format that suggest printing for signage and sharing. This demonstrates the universal appeal of print that still resonates, particularly at times when we’re inundated with digital screens.

Infographics are useful in conveying news and information in a way that’s easy for audiences to absorb and comprehend quickly. Often infographics present the information in a way that gives context or scale to those unfamiliar with the content.

Thankfully, infographics are simple to design and incorporate in PowerPoint designs. The basic idea is to visualise data for the sake of audience understanding, which is effortless enough in a design program that not only easily integrates excel data, but can be used to add animation or interactivity to your infographic design. 

Designing live feeds, updates, and webinars

Live updates are critical when news develops so rapidly. Remember the days when it was acceptable to catch the news in the morning and then wait until 6pm before learning about the events of the day. Those days are over.

Live updates are available across a variety of social media platforms and helped established Twitter as the channel for instant news – I often learn more about news topics from searching hashtags than searching news sites.

One useful news resources that is constantly receiving live updates and present information clearly is the live COVID19 dashboard tracker. While we could comment on the lack of design elements or imagery, the information separated by region and country, constantly updated live, offers a quick-fact side panel for optimising user experience, and includes a search functions across every key data set. And – most impressively – this entire site was built by one American high schooler.

When the world is forced inside, business is pushed online. Recent events have revealed how many of us can operate easily from the comfort of our homes. From the evolution of full-time YouTubers and cam-content creators, to the growth of eLearning and remote universities, the ability to inform, entertain, and educate remotely is only growing in prominence.

Webinar combines video content with live feedback and interactivity. It’s the next step after video conferencing because extends screen use beyond camera-to-video – offering onscreen graphics, live chat, and screensharing.

Government agencies have been using live webinars to address concerned citizens and address any concerns they may have directly. This is an excellent way to connect directly with audiences at a time when face-to-face interaction seems impossible and potentially hazardous. Furthermore, since webinars offer live feedback and communication, people are more likely to pay attention and retain what’s being told.

Thankfully, webinars are relatively easy to create and host alone. Check out our guide for a walkthrough on how. However, beyond the basic script, equipment, and webinar platform, it’s important to remember that webinars are multimedia and interactive experiences.

This means you should have a clear understanding of how to incorporate other media files while vying for attention with everything else available on your audience’s devices (which is literally anything). It’s important to know what your audience is looking for and deliver that information in a way that captures and keeps attention.

For more information on understanding audience, visit our presentation and audience guide. Or check out our free e-book, Ultimate Guide to Webinar to learn more about creating engaging webinar experiences.

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Keep informed and get inspired

Want to learn more about how to stretch the creative limits of PowerPoint?

Subscribe today and receive the latest in blog content, design templates, and much more – all made in PowerPoint.

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